Are Google Ads Dead?

There’s a lot of talk currently and rightly so, about Facebook Ads. How they are the number one place to be for advertisers right now. And look, I love Facebook Ads, it’s a fantastic platform, it’s intuitive and the ROI is great.

But what about Google Ads?

There’s a lot of negativity about Google Ads, how “expensive” they’ve become in recent years. How difficult they are in comparison to Facebook Ads. How the conversion rates aren’t there…and so on.

I don’t buy this!

And I don’t think smart marketers buy into this either. I think that it’s more than just a necessity for businesses to use Google Ads, which is something I hear a lot, that you have to do Google Ads, just to tick-it off the list. It’s for brand awareness but it rarely converts. Or that people don’t search for their product or service…

Wait, what?

Think about that, how crazy is that to hear that you use Google Ads but you believe people don’t search for your product or service…on Google!

Well, here’s the thing Google is a search platform, so the indication there and the first thing that comes to my mind is that keyword research still isn’t understood OR that the wrong bidding/keyword strategy is being used.

And that’s one of the things I see regularly. Using the wrong strategy.

The problem, often times, is that people are trying to do something that USED to work but doesn’t anymore. Trying to get cheap clicks by bidding on loads of broad keywords. They focus on traffic rather than conversions.

The problem with that is that you have to have an even bigger list of negative keywords to ensure that you’re not wasting time and money. It’s also harder in my experience to get high Quality Scores as you have all these different search terms and keywords floating around, usually pointing to a generic landing page or worse the dreaded home page.

A search campaign strategy that works in 2019

When I look at an existing campaign that’s been set up and running I see the same thing a lot.

  • Broad keywords
  • No negative keywords
  • Low quality scores
  • Poor geographic targeting
  • Reliance on Google’s “recommended” features
  • In the past year alone I’ve had two large clients, that have both paid someone else to set up Google Ads and then they’ve lost money. They’ve got healthy ad spends but they’ve had no conversions.

On both occasions they were using broad and phrase match (incorrectly), had no real negative keyword list and in both cases had geographic targeting setup totally wrong. Both were UK based but one was trying to reach a national audience in the UK but was targeting the US (how that happened I’ll never understand) and the second was a local firm in London and they were targeting the whole UK.

So setting up the campaign correctly is important and attention to details is critical.

Structure & Keywords

First off let’s talk about the structure and to be clear I’m referring to Search campaigns, not display or video or shopping campaigns. All those things have their place, they’re great, but let’s just keep things simple for today.

People go to Google and they search for something, let’s say for this example your an accountancy firm in London.

The instinct for many is to create an Ad group with 100’s of keywords with differing values and search volumes. Then they create a generic Ad going to a generic page to make sure that everyone is catered for. That really doesn’t work well and conversion rates will pay the biggest price.

But what I do is different…I look for the money keywords.

And the best bit…Five keywords. Maximum.

You can do more over time but for getting started, go for five.

We don’t need loads. We need the right ones. Less is more. You can use a tool like Ahrefs to find a competitor that you know uses Google Ads, plug in their URL and see every Ad they are running with each keyword, the cost per click and the estimated search volume being generated.

If you can see that they have 3,000 unique traffic visitors coming from one keyword and it makes sense for your campaign. Use that one. Find 4 more and you have enough to go get started with.

Here’s the secret sauce, when you add that to the ad group you only add that ONE keyword to the Ad Group. Not all four or five. Just the one. I cannot emphasises that enough…this impacts quality score (QS) and I’m going to show you how to control QS with this model.

Next when you add the keyword you add it as an exact match keyword so it will look like this [your keyword] rather than your keyword or “your keyword”. This means that for the most part you’ll only have your Ad show when someone searches your exact keyword. Not a broad search that “may” be related.

So again, you set up a search campaign. Have a single keyword in the Ad group and then build your Ads around that one keyword (you can have as many different Ads in that Ad group as you like but to keep things simple, let’s say you have 3 variations).

Quality scores (QS)

Improving the QS is important and the way in which you do it to get good results is build everything around relevance. If you are an accounting firm and the keyword is specific, which it should be, then you’ll want to be using that keyword throughout the ad and the landing page experience so that the customer journey is congruent.

EXAMPLE: You have a specific term, [accounting for mergers and acquisitions]. Then the URL should include that, the landing page headline should include that. The page copy should include that.

You get the picture.

Yes it’s more work to have individual landing pages setup to run ads too. But the difference it can make is truly impressive and the key is that you’re not having to create 100’s of pages but 4 or 5.

PRO TIP: Make sure these pages are set to NoIndex so that your SEO is unaffected by the duplicate content.

Bottom Line = Quality scores make a difference. Because Google see’s the effort being made to be consistent and relevant, therefore the score is higher. So the Ad is shown more often and the engagement (Click Through Rate or CTR) should increase, as people searching for this keyword are being shown something highly relevant.

Because CTR is up and QS is high cost per click (CPC) should be lower (this depends on competitiveness) if loads of people are bidding then of course it’s going to maintain a higher CPC however, what you’ll find is that your conversion rate will go through the roof. So regardless of CPC your cost per lead (CPL) will be very affordable.

With an increase in conversions your Quality Score should increase further as Google can see people are finding the Ad and the solution (your offer) relevant and as Google is a search engine it only really cares about showing people stuff they care about…

Makes sense right?!

Bidding

Bid the right amount. Or bid higher if you can to make sure you win the auction.

For those that don’t know exactly how Google Ads work it’s essentially like eBay. You bid, the next campaign bids, whoever is prepared to pay more comes out on top. The more competitive the keyword and the more people trying to bid the harder it is to get on top (or even on the first page of Ads) without paying top dollar.

But that’s okay, because you’ve

Only got a small handful of money keywords to worry about and
You’ve got Google Tag Manager setup so you’re tracking all conversions and can kill losers and push winners
Also, you’ll know what will get you to the top of page one in Google Ads from using Ahrefs earlier as you can see who’s already there and what they’re paying to get to the top. If they are paying £7 per click and you bid £8 you’ll probably get to the top quickly and only have to pay £7.01.

There’s also a way to edit column views on Google Ads to show you how much to bid to go to number one.

You can learn how to do that here.

CASE STUDY 1: A campaign that we setup with less than 10 keywords, each with their own Ad Group, specific Ads, and relevant, individual landing pages, in a very competitive, expensive space within the fine art sector. Quality Score is high, and even though it’s competitive and the CPC is high, the CTR is high and the conversion rate is great.

CASE STUDY 2: A training company that had a similar setup in a competitive space in financial services has a campaign running that is getting leads for £1.01. The strategy there was based more brand searches and competitors so the keywords aren’t as expensive and the search volumes are lower but it still works.

So you can do this with big budgets like Case Study 1 where you’re spending five figures a month on Ad spend or in Case Study 2, the budget is a lot less but the lead volume is consistent and with an end product that goes for £10k plus there’s huge potential.

Ahrefs – Understanding Your Website


Ahrefs, if you don’t know yet, is a fantastic tool for growing your organic search traffic. But it isn’t just for SEO pro’s. Anyone with a website can learn a great deal from the tool and with that data you can build major improvements across your website…AND across your Google Ad campaigns.

What does it do

In a nutshell you can research your competitors and monitor your niche. But there’s so much more to it than that.

Ahrefs will help you learn why your competitors rank so high and what you need to do to outrank them by looking at their content, their keywords and most importantly in SEO terms, you can see their backlink profile.

Organic Search Report

You can analyse your competitors’ search traffic by sticking the URL in the search bar and pulling up all the data you’d ever need. In our experience at Digital Bang, the data isn’t always accurate, like say Google Analytics would be. But it gives you a benchmark to work from.

Keywords Explorer

You can get thousands of keyword ideas to build content and pages around as well as getting an insight into keyword difficulty.

Backlink data

Ahrefs is the industry standard for checking backlinks. You can get a real time insight into who is doing what and therefore get ideas for where to acquire links.

Content Explorer

This tool allows you to look at what content is working in the industry and inform your content marketing strategy.

Rank Tracker

Get accurate location-specific ranking reports to see how well your improvements are taking in Google’s Search Engine results. If you use these tools correctly you’ll watch your position climb higher and higher up the SERPs.

Alerts

Keep an eye out for industry alerts and get content ideas before the competition does.

As I alluded to earlier, you can also research competitors Google Ads campaigns too. This is a great way to see what keywords are driving paid traffic, how much a click is costing and you can save time by going straight for the money keywords. A much better way to run Ads.

Why you should use it

You should use it if you want to monitor your search traffic, your positions and any paid traffic in Google Ads. You’ll get real data on what is working and what isn’t and be able to increase your search volume dramatically. Remember a big selling point of Ahrefs is not only that you can track YOUR data but you can see what others are doing so you know who’s getting it right and who’s getting it wrong and take advantage.

The Seven SEO Elements for 2019

Want to increase your organic search visibility across your site? Of course you do…who doesn’t want more traffic. Here are the most important SEO elements for successful SEO according to Search Engine Land with my thoughts underneath

Publish High-Quality Content

User intent (read my latest article on Google Search Console for more on how to do this)

Keyword research: Use keywords to build an overall content strategy and create strategic

Voice search – with AI assistants like Alexa, Cortana and Siri growing in popularity and becoming more and more intelligent this really is the next step in search and thinking about this now will get you well ahead of the curve.

Rich snippets – using schema to markup your text and data for better visibility in search results gives the end users more context on the content and lowers your bounce rate.

Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

Google has a mobile first index policy, responsive design is not an option – it’s a must!

With more and more people searching from mobile devices and clicking ads from their smartphones you can’t afford to skip this one whether you’re focused on PPC or SEO. Go mobile.

Create a Secure Website (HTTPS)

There’s really no reason to avoid this one. Even if you’re not selling products, having that green padlock is synonymous with security and it is a ranking factor so get an SSL certificate on your site.

Improve Your User Experience

Being responsive is one thing, being easy to navigate is another and having a complex architecture is a headache and will affect your SEO. People are more likely to bounce if they can’t figure your site out. That’s not good.

Optimise Your Page Speed

Keep things lightweight and simple. Compress images, use AMP technology on posts and key pages. Give users the best experience and remove the need for them to go elsewhere.

Master Your On-Page Optimisation

Meta data, schema mark-up and internal linking can have dramatic impacts on your organic traffic. It’s a simple way to boost traffic simply by understanding the basics and properly formatting your site.

Earn Relevant & Authoritative Backlinks

This is something that’s not going away. Yes, it’s possible to rank without backlinks but for the vast majority that approach simply won’t work. It’s a process that isn’t easy and is time consuming so it’s easy to put it of but the pros far outweigh the cons.

Learn More About These Key SEO Elements

Want to read the full article….go here

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SEO Versus Social Media

Getting people to know about your business is no easy task. In fact it never has been. With the ever growing number of available marketing channels it’s harder now than any other time in history. All is not lost, however.

Choosing the right channel from the start
With the overwhelming choice of options, deciding where to start is a common problem for many small businesses.

As a digital marketing consultant I see the same problem time and time again.

Analysis paralysis.

Information overload is a such an issue it prevents people from starting. Or worse they try a bit of everything…that’s right, EVERYTHING!

Keeping on top of one channel is hard, jumping from one to another as a small business owner is almost impossible. Unless you have a plan of action.

Even then, things remain tricky.

Create a plan and stick to it
You see, being a jack of all trades seems like a good idea; it keeps everything in house, you understand what you should be doing, but more often than not, you will burn out.

Deciding on where to focus your energy is key to success and sticking to it is vital.

Social Media offers a direct route to your clients
Social media is, without doubt, an integral part of any campaign but takes time and energy not to mention money. As do most channels.

Depending on your product or service, however, a lot of this can be done by you. With the growing number of free tools available, you can create great, engaging graphics.

Video quality on the latest smart phones is ridiculously good, allowing you to become your very own Spielberg.

You should absolutely be creating content, “going live” with the video streaming platforms and snapping pics for Instagram and Facebook at every opportunity.

There’s still a learning curve here and it’s not easy to build a following but you can create content at a low cost and build a following.

Social Media is certainly not easy and often the ROI is a real slow burn. It takes time to get it right and doesn’t always pay off, even in the long run.

If possible engaging a professional is a good investment but on it’s own may not be the right choice.

SEO brings your customers to your door
SEO on the other hand is about playing Google’s game and trying to win. You get it right? The return on investment is huge.

The downside however, is that SEO aka search engine optimisation is something that can not be done on the side, cannot be cheated and if done incorrectly, has been known to put people out of business overnight, by way of a Google penalty.

Social Media and SEO go hand in hand
Hiring a good SEO or digital marketing consultant is worth its wait in gold, emphasis on good.

Combing that with a solid, social media strategy can be a great plan of action, if considered a long term investment.

A good SEO consultant should be able to advise on the right social platforms, should absolutely be building a catalogue of long form content (perfect for your social media platforms) and should be able to correctly optimise your pages to help the SEO.

Conclusion
It really isn’t one versus the other it’s about creating a solid plan and working together.

Using the platforms effectively and looking at where you need a “specialist” and where you can be hustling and creating your own content is the key to getting things done.

Avoid trying to do everything. Consider your needs, if you need direct traffic to your site, converting visitors into buyers SEO is your focus. If you want to tap into an existing audience and create a following social media is the one. If a bit of both, look for someone that takes a holistic approach to digital marketing and knows how to build a good campaign.

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4 Tips To Better Facebook Ad Campaigns

For a lot of small businesses a Facebook Ad campaign tends to be an afterthought. These campaigns are just chucked together and put into the world with little or no real thought or strategy.

I get it, time is precious, sales/enquiries are needed and the buzz around Facebook Ads (or Google Ads, or even SEO campaigns or whatever will be next) gets your attention and so you dive in.

“Let’s just get something up and see if it works”. Is often how I hear people have approached their paid campaigns.

Then a couple of hundred pound later, you pull the plug and say “Facebook is over-rated” or that it “just doesn’t work”.

Over the last 6 to 7 years of working with clients, big and small, I’ve heard that phrase about so many different channels that if I believed it, there’d be no form of marketing left to explore. Can you relate?

So why is this?

Most people just give it a go, hope for the best and barely commit to testing. They don’t really want to invest in advertising but they also don’t know what else to do to create consistent lead generation or sales.

But great businesses know that to grow, you need to commit. You need to test and it takes time. Ask any great marketer and they’ll use the same word over and over…

TESTING.

That’s the key. No, it’s not sexy, it’s not exciting but it is part of the game. If you want a great ad campaign you’ll usually need to test things to find a winning formula. However, as business owners we want results, the quicker the better. Time is often not something we have a lot of or is a luxury that can’t be afforded.

That leads to this persistent mistake of just jumping in and not testing. Most of these attempts are done by those with no real training and just some basic knowledge (at best).

That’s the mistake!

Here’s the thing. Whether it’s Facebook Ads, Billboards, TV, SEO, Radio or Podcasts, there’s an art and a Science to all of it.

That’s why ad agencies, marketing firms and freelancers all exist, they are experts that have trained, have tested and are ready to build winning campaigns for you.

The truth is whatever channel you are trying to maximise ROI from, you should aim to learn the basics so you know what you are paying for, the deeper you dive into this learning the better you’ll get.

Here are 4 things that I think most people miss and that if they DID implement, they would really improve Ad performance.

  • Take your time to set up the campaign properly
  • Using the Pixel
  • Have a plan and stick to it
  • Engage with your audience (good or bad)

Step number 1

Take your time to set up the campaign properly
This goes right back to the first point of just getting it done to see if it works. It likely won’t work with that approach and if it does, you probably won’t know why.

Using Facebook Ads as an example, there’s optimal ways to set up a campaign so you can TEST, so you can report on what worked and cut the losers out to further optimise a campaign.

It’s beyond the scope of this article but actually setting up a campaign with the right goals, the Ad Sets being structured correctly and variations of well written, well thought out ads that can be tested can make the world of difference.

Most people simply choose a campaign type, set up one ad set with all of their interest based audiences, targeting as many people as possible with little to no research.

However, Facebook have tools available that can help you find the right interest based audience to test cold traffic.

If you set up your Ad Sets smartly you can actually see exactly WHO is reacting to what.

Would you like me to write/or create a video of a more detailed step-by-step on how you can accomplish this?

Step 2 – Using a Pixel

Most people have the Pixel on their site but don’t know why. Others have no clue what it is and aren’t using it at all. A Facebook Pixel helps you build a custom audience which is to say, you have a data list of people that you can retarget. If you set this up as early as possible you can start building a simple Ad campaign retargeting site visitors.

There’s a lot more that you can do with the Pixel but a bit of basic knowledge and having it installed on your site is vital. Even more so, if you are paying for Ads elsewhere, or have organic traffic coming in to your site, then again, you want this Pixel there to help you maximise profit.

Step 3 – Have a plan (and stick to it)

It’s good to be flexible but sometimes you need to give things time. If you do step 1, then you should be able to really see what is working and what is not working. This allows you to TEST, and also refine your strategy as you go.

If you are smart about setting things up correctly and stay engaged in the process you can refine things as you go. If you do this, with a concrete goal in mind, it’s a lot easier to avoid panicking and/or switching everything off completely.

For example

If you are testing cold audiences with interest based targeting, you have 3 different audiences that you are testing, split across 3 ad sets and spending £5 to £10 a day to see what works.

Over a week or two you’ve built some good data to work with and know what the end result should be and can see clearly which of the audiences are most responsive and engaging.

Comment help if you need a plan?

Step 4 – Engage

When you’re running ads on Facebook you’re going to get comments, this can be really good or it can be bad.

Obviously you want the good. But even the bad can be turned around if you have someone working to engage that audience.

What’s more you can aggregate this “social proof” so when you find a winning ad you can keep all those great comments and likes etc rather than always having an ad with no engagement. This will lower your costs too.

Comment social proof if you’d like to know more about how to do this.

Summary

Those are four things that I know would help most people get more out of their ads. They seem obvious and they are. There the basics.

The fundamentals are most often overlooked, as a result people waste money on ad campaigns.

Feel free to connect with me or send me a message if you have any questions.

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Getting SEO Right

There is more to SEO than simply writing a blog. Just creating a blog post isn’t as easy as it once was and is unlikely to yield real results.

The expectation for higher quality content is more important than ever before. The competition for attention has increased year on year. The sheer level of noise that you will have to compete with makes it harder than it’s ever been.

So what should you do and is SEO still “worth it”? In short, yes…when done right, SEO is fantastic. It can turn a business around.

Organic search knows no limits, if (IF being the important word) you can actually get to number one on Google. If you manage that, you can have a long term flood of traffic that converts and sets your business on fire (in a good way).

However, if you don’t get it right, you waste time and energy and see no results. And what tends to happen is people either give up or try “black hat” SEO, leading to a telling off from Google.

The best way if you have a smaller budget is to take your time looking for the right sort of keywords and really pouring time into the research side of it – tricky if you’re running a business or department and not able to dedicate the man hours that are really needed.

Even then when that is done, you need to effectively promote that content across multiple channels to actually get eyeballs on it…not impossible by any stretch but this is the part that most people totally overlook and wonder why “SEO doesn’t work anymore”.

You HAVE to have a long term approach with SEO. You HAVE to be willing to invest time and money into SEO and you HAVE to understand the fundamentals to get it right.

There is an art and science to SEO
The science part makes it sound easy. Simply do X, Y and Z and you’ve SEO’d your site or page. But the truth is that it takes a lot more than adding some titles, descriptions and alt tags to a page to dramatically increase your traffic.

So what can you do.

Doing the basics (as above) is great but you need to use other approaches to actually get your content seen across other channels. Use social media, email and other tools like Google My Business to make your content available to more people.

Add multimedia content to your articles to make it more engaging for the people that do get to the site or pages so that they actually stick around and enjoy the content (and share it).

Most of all, create a focused content marketing strategy. Do more than just stick up a 200 word blog once a month. Create a well thought out content strategy and attack all channels, consistently and with purpose…you will win.

The takeaway from this?
It’s no longer enough to “do SEO”. You have to do marketing. You have to expertly craft content, at scale, that is well researched and well put together. And not give up after 3 months and 5 articles when you’ve not doubled sales.

My point is this. SEO is part of a wider plan. Use it to help your website get ot the top of Google and give you assets to share across platforms to help funnel people through from discovery to buying.

Have you tried to run an SEO campaign for your company? How did it go? Let me know with a comment or a DM.

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A Facebook Ads Strategy For 2019

Increase your audience, Get more clients…& build trust.
When it comes to growing a business in the service based professions it’s extremely difficult, especially when you are starting from ground zero.If you have a bit of leverage then you can get started a bit easier but if you don’t, it’s really hard.

So todays post is there to help anyone trying to build their brand and reach new potential customers or clients utilising Facebook Ads…The Accelerated Influencer Method (AIM) is my Facebook Ads strategy that I use to help service based businesses of all sizes to gain exposure and reach their desired marketplace with Facebook Ads.

This method works on one binding principle, which basically means…you’ve gotta HELP PEOPLE, and use Facebook Ads to actually deliver results, education, information…something useful, right?!

The thing is, there are so many platforms and ways to reach people that it’s notoriously hard to even be seen, and is getting harder with each and every day that passes by.

As a digital marketer of 7 years, with multiple clients in different sectors and a growing team we’re always looking for a better way. Around a year ago Facebook changed their organic reach algorithm and it’s near impossible to actually get engagement with your posts and around the same time Facebook rolled out a host of new video based features.

Tools like Facebook Watch, Video View Ad objectives and of course the constant improvement of tools like Facebook Live.

Too many people are trying to fight against the platforms and find hacks and workarounds but the truth is that video is working whether it’s here on LinkedIn or over there on Facebook or Instagram.

This is where AIM comes in to play…here’s what it is and here’s how it works.

You see Facebook realised something, they were losing ground and they wanted to stay relevant with platforms like YouTube.

Their baby sister (Instagram) was getting all the love and one of the big things with instagram is of course, video content. Facebook were also dealing with a schoolyard bully (aka YouTube). These guys were totally stealing the show – they’re the 2nd largest search-engine on the planet. Good reason for Facebook to be worried.

Meanwhile, poor old Facebook was becoming misused by too many bad ads and crap photos of cats. Pages that were low quality content, groups full of spam and so the algorithm change happened to protect users and improve content.

This is what they did:

They wanted to get into the Video space. In fact, they wanted to take over so over the past couple of years you’ve likely noticed a few new features like the ones I mentioned above.

Facebook Watch is still growing and is still in its infancy, but with major contracts signed with the likes of the MLB (Baseball – America’s favourite pastime now has dedicated games that are exclusively on Facebook for fans to watch across the world) and more original shows being launched.

The common thread here though is Video. This is all aimed at video content and with the new app rolling out called Facebook Creator we’ll only see more of this sort of content.

But wait…there’s more.

They want more video content across the advertising ecosystem too. I even spoke to a Facebook employee that advised it is their number one recommended strategy for Advertisers.

Coincidence? I don’t think so.

So what does all this mean for you and I? Small business owners looking to maximise our ad budget (or like many of you out there actively trying to avoid spending money on your advertising).

Well if you want to build an engaged audience, a tribe, if you like, then Facebook remains a top choice, especially for local businesses and for physical product and B2C companies.

So you need to get into video…fast.

As I mentioned above, Facebook has made it easy for us. They created Facebook Live and the Creator App, Facebook Watch is growing…and best bit is about to be revealed. You’re probably wondering how does this apply to my business?

Well…TV Advertising just became VERY affordable. And nobody has even realised it yet. Facebook really want video to work and to ensure that it does they have done two very important things. The advertising objective called Video Views cannot be ignored.

Facebook have made it cheap…VERY CHEAP. 0.03p per unique video view, cheap!!!

The best bit for advertisers is there’s a whole back end process designed to help us retarget the people that have watched our videos. And this is the secret to getting your business in front of more people, affordably, and at scale, even if nobody knows who you are yet or what you do.

You could try and keep forcing the organic model to work for you. But it is increasingly hard to rely solely on that avenue. You could keep pushing your way into groups and trying to convince people to hear your pitch and come join you on your mission but the success rate here is low. Worst of all this is bad for your positioning, I mean absolutely terrible for building a brand. And let’s face it, if you’re running a business do you have time to be playing in Facebook Groups all day…probably not!

Now you could give up entirely and go to a new social network and try and gain exposure there or you can play ball with the biggest ad platform the world has ever known. All you need are some rudimentary tools (a smartphone for video) and a small budget and you can get going in no time at all. This doesn’t have to be break-the-bank expensive.

Here’s how you need to do this.

It’s all about finding the right audience and giving them the absolute best content you can produce. I mean tell them exactly how to solve their problem.That’s it. If you do that and you do it well (you don’t need fancy camera gear or anything like that) you’ll build a brand based around YOU i.e. you’ll become an influencer…

So the whole strategy is to provide as much value as you can, whilst keeping a core message running throughout your videos. You then keep providing content, in the form of videos. Yes, you pay a small amount to boost these videos to reach people but you target correctly and they will love you for the content.

I’m getting video views for as low as 0.03p per 10 second view, if you were spending £1,000 per month on ads you would reach 33,333 people. BUT…I don’t care about reach – I’m going to show you what I care about and it’s the metric you should care about too.

But first.

Using this method, you can do away with building elaborate marketing and sales funnels with opt-in forms, cos guess what, you don’t need that. Don’t get me wrong they do work, they are great, they have a place, but this is not it. Not yet. We’re keeping everything within the Facebook ecosystem (for now!). This is the influencer branding model, this is AIM. This model is what works in 2019 and it works like a dream on Facebook. Why?

Because this is what Facebook wants from their platform…Great content.

Now. I mentioned that you want to sell a service, and as you are solving a problem you are going to be building a highly engaged, warm audience. Guess what that means? That’s right. It means that they want what you have! Not all of them. But some, and certainly enough to make a massive difference to your bottom line, and fast!

Facebook wants you to create videos and they want your audience to love them. They want people to stay on the platform. They don’t want every advertiser dragging people away from the App. Makes sense?

If you target the correct audience based on interests. Then after running some video content with paid ads you will build up a custom audience of video views. This will lead you to the next stage in the modern day “funnel”. They know, like and trust you. You’ve not only provided content, but you have also gained Facebook followers and you now have an asset in the form of a custom audience. Here you can actually target people that have watched 3 seconds, 10 seconds, 50%, 75% or 95% of your video content.

If 5,000 people have seen your video and 2,000 have watched 25% or more of it, you can then target them with a new video solving more problems and inviting them to a Consultation session or webinar or whatever your next touch point looks like in your sales cycle.

Here’s the important bit. When you retarget warm audiences, the cost per impression is WAY lower than going out to cold audiences. It’s lower still if you continue using the video views objective. What do you think will happen if your content is good, well targeted and actually helps solve a problem.

Do you think, maybe, you’ll see an increase in enquiries and initial consultations and reignite some old clients? I’m going to go ahead and bet that you might get more than just a few. You’ll probably be a little busy for a few days.

Here’s the thing, when you do this you not only create an engaged audience. But you pre-frame your service throughout. They know what you do because of your core message.

They probably know what you charge because you would elude to that during the content on the retargeting video where you invite them to talk with you. You have people qualifying themselves. It means that anyone that now books an appointment is not only a red-hot lead but they know how much the investment is in advance of any conversation they have with you.

You already have a bond because you’ve built that influencer status, so to a large extent they are pre-sold before you talk to them, how cool is that? Oh, and the best bit is…this doesn’t have to take 18 months of constant posting and hash Tagging, in order to get serious results pretty quickly. This takes a couple of weeks of focused, high value, long-form content creation. One or two videos a week.

At no point have you broken the bond with your audience by suddenly asking for opt-ins here and opt-ins there. You have simply provided help, at scale and built a real following in the process. This is one of the best ways to build a brand at scale and grow good will in your marketplace. On top of that you’re putting out content regularly and getting more engagement across your social channels, not to mention all the while you are increasing the visibility to your website, impacting your SEO and link profile.

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What Is Google Search Console…And Are You Using It?

If you have a website then you should absolutely be using Google Search Console but if you’re sitting there reading this, thinking “I haven’t even heard of Google Search Console” you’re not alone.

It’s one of the most important tools in the world of SEO but surprisingly it’s the most often overlooked when it comes to the suite of tools put out there by Google for marketers and web-developers.

In this article I’m going to cover a few of the basics and what it does to give you some insight into why you should be using it and what you can expect to get out of it.

Here’s what I’m going to cover:

What is Google Search Console.
What does it do for me and my website.
How it works and what data can I see/get.
Why you should be using it for your business to increase search traffic?

What The Hell Is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console used to be called Webmaster Tools (you might remember that?). Essentially it’s a dashboard for submitting your websites pages to Google for crawling and indexing for searchers online.

More than that it feeds back data to you within the dashboard, so you can actually understand how Google sees your website. This is important as you can actually get some really important data to improve your site and your rankings.

What Exactly Does It Do?
Alongside being able to index pages, which I’ll cover more in a moment, it also allows you to track search terms that are bring up your website and your pages. This may include search terms you hadn’t even thought of and can be a good source of keyword research. It also shows you your average page positions and it will alert you to page and site errors that could be affecting your sites performance.

There are other third party tools that may give you these insights and they have their place in the tool box for sure, but this is Google giving you a heads up directly…why wouldn’t you want that information?

So How Does It Work?
All you’ll need to do if you don’t have it setup is login with your Google account and connect it to your site by authorising it with either a piece of HTML code in your header or via your Google Analytics account (which you really need to have setup).

Once set up and validated, you’ll be able to request Google crawl pages and index them for search. BUT….there’s more to it than that. As well as being able to index an individual page (good for when you have made significant changes to a key page on your website or blog) but you can also submit a sitemap.

Google will find your site over time so this isn’t required but it definitely expedites the process. Even if your site isn’t getting much traffic at this stage you’ll still be able to pick up on problems and site errors which can have significant impacts on SEO performance.

(here’s what the dashboard looks like.)

Why You Should Be Using It?
By submitting your site to Google you’re asking Google to crawl the site and therefore get an idea of it’s “crawl-ability”. Google will tell you exactly where any errors are occurring, things you may never have otherwise thought to look for and it will also connect with Google Analytics allowing you to pull all the info into a central place.

Below are the main elements that Google Search Console will help you with.

Index individual pages & Submit sitemaps:

As you build out the content on your website you’ll want to let Google know about this and get the new content showing up in search engines ASAP. If you make a bulk change to URLs or product listings then you can submit a sitemap and allow Google to do the heavy lifting. But the main thing is that Google will act faster to get the right info in the SERPs (search engine result pages) letting searchers know about your product, services or content.

See website errors:

If you’ve had a custom site built recently or even if you’re using one of the major page builder players (WordPress, Shopify, SquareSpace etc) then your site should be fairly easy to maintain…if it’s new.

If it’s an older domain or you add a lot of new pages/products and are taking them down when you no longer need them then overtime you’ll have a lot of 404 pages buildup which can be bad for your SEO. Google Search Console (or GSC) can show you exactly where these pages are, allowing you to fix them and then update Search Console once you’ve done this. These are good signals to Google that you’re looking after the site and all this plays its part in improving search visibility.

Get an overview of your website health:

As above, you’ll be able to see errors like 404 pages but you’ll also be able to see other errors and technical issues too. You’ll be able to see Mobile responsiveness errors, AMP problems and much more.

Track your average positions and rankings:

On the positive side of things, you get to see what’s happening in terms of inbound searches. This is really important for any SEO and really website maintenance in general. Wouldn’t you want to know how people are actually finding you? Well now you can and you can see exactly where you rank for certain search terms.

See the search terms you rank for:

Here’s an example. If you’re a digital bank, like Tide, Coconut or Starling and you use the keyword for your homepage Business Banking you’d be able to see in Search Console your average position for that keyword but also you’re impressions (the number of times you showed up for that keyword) and even better the number of clicks you actually received from that one keyword.

But wait there’s more…perhaps you’re also appearing for the search terms “digital bank” or “mobile banking app”. You didn’t even know that was the case before but now you can see that you

a) have lots of impressions for that search term and

b) have a higher ranking in the SERPs for that term.

Well guess what, with a little bit more digging and some keyword research you might find that keyword is actually worth incorporating into your copy or even being promoted to the primary keyword.

Now You Just Need To Set It Up
This is of course, only a basic introduction to Google Search Console and there’s lots more that you can do, more info and stats that can be gained from it and it can inform a large part of your ongoing SEO strategy.

So many website owners aren’t using this or digging into its full potential but there’s a lot to be gained from it and if you care at all about increasing organic traffic it has to be a tool that you have at your disposal.

Setting it up is easy enough as are most of the tools within Googles suite. If you are working with an SEO agency, make sure they have this set up, alarm bells should ring if they don’t have it set up and unfortunately I know many agencies that don’t even know what GSC is and are charging premium prices for their SEO services.

If you’re not with an agency yet but have ambitions of handing SEO over to an agency then you’ll be doing them a huge favour by collecting this data for them in advance.

Let me know in the comments if you’re already using GSC or if you ‘re going to go ahead and set it up now or if you’re stuck with how to use it in your business?

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What Is Google Tag Manager

A lot of people seem to ignore Google Tag Manager but for me, it’s one of my all time favourite tools. I use Google Tag Manager, or GTM for short, with all clients. It makes life so much easier and allows you to really get the most from your Ad campaigns.

What Is Google Tag Manager

If you hadn’t guessed it’s a tool built by the all powerful Google. In a nutshell it allows you to add all the important elements in to one piece of code that you can easily add to your site. There are a couple of major benefits to this. On the technical side, one piece of code that adds multiple pieces of functionality to your site is a much more lightweight approach.

From a practical standpoint, it allows you to have one piece of code on your site with a central dashboard (in Google) to access things and make changes.

Example: if you want to add a new Facebook Event for a new Ad campaign, rather than have to login to your site and start amending plug-ins, or if you have a custom built site, then you have to start accessing files via FTP and worrying about making an error to your HTML code.

None of that here.

Instead all we need to do is login to Tag Manager with your Google account that you already use for Google Analytics and Search Console (you are using those tools right?) then you simply go through the steps to add a new Tag. So easy and nothing can really go wrong.

What Does It Do

So here’s why you’d use Tag Manager rather than add multiple codes to your site. Again, it’s lightweight and keeps your site in optimal performance. That’s great news. More than that you can add multiple tools that will make your marketing and advertising way more efficient. Here’s what I mean.

If you’re running Ads, you absolutely need to know every time someone “converts” whatever that means to you (it could be sales, enquiries, installs or sign ups). You also need to be building re-marketing/retargeting lists so that you can effectively reach your audience and ensure that you are optimising sales (I’ll talk about this more in an upcoming article and video on getting more from your Ad budget).

You can have multiple conversion triggers for different products, apps or “thank-you” pages. What is a trigger? I’ll get to that in the next section.

How Does It Work

When you login for the first time you’ll have three main options, Tags, Triggers and Variables. Let’s look at what each one does.

TAGS

Tags are the core of this whole thing obviously but they are only one step of the process. The Tag holds the code that you’d otherwise have to add to the website page that you are trying to work with. With GTM you simply build a Tag and add the code and choose which page you want it to be relevant to by using a Trigger.

Here are the Tags you can create:

Google Analytics:

Old Faithful. You’ll want Google Analytics on your website and yes, you can just add the tracking code separately but this way you’re keeping all your code contained in these tags and making life easier and removing the likelihood of errors occurring.

Google Ads Re-Marketing:

If you want to run Ads across any of Google’s Network, now or in the future implement this piece of code and make sure that you’re capturing all that data. A lot of talk out there about the Facebook Pixel but this is equally important in getting results across Google (and of course YouTube).

Google Ads Conversion Tracking:

You want to run ads to a new product, app or offer? Then of course you want to track conversions and make sure you have a good ROI from Google Ads. you add this to a Thank You page or even on a specific Button Click and you’ll know when and how someone converts. Without this you’ll see a big ZERO under conversions in your Google Ads dashboard.

Google Ads Call Tracking:

Same as above in many ways but simply tracks calls made from the Ad. Again, without this you can expect to see zeroes in the dashboard without this.

Custom HTML:

This allows you to add Tags with code that isn’t in the standard Tag Library, so effectively nothing is off limits, if you have a favourite tool, you should be able to use this to add it to the site.

Facebook Pixel:

I use Custom HTML (the above Tag) when adding the Facebook Pixel rather than using the setup wizard in Facebook. I can’t even remember why I started doing that but it’s my best practice and it’s how I train others to do it as it gives you a little more control rather than trying to automate it with the Facebook Ads Manager setup.

Facebook Event:

When you set up a Conversion Ad you’ll have a metric that you want to track (sign-ups, Leads, Enquiries, App Installs and so on and so on), you take the little bit of code and add it to it’s own Tag, that then has a Trigger to a specific page, more on that below.

LinkedIn Insights:

Still largely under utilised by so many due to the cost of LinkedIn ads but if you do tap in to this ad platform (and many more could be) this is how you’ll need to track any conversions that occur in that campaign.

TRIGGERS

So a Trigger, what’s that, I hear you ask? Whenever you want a piece of code to do something it will need to be triggered by something. Most likely it’ll be a page visit or install.

In most cases you’ll want to keep things site wide or on the “All Pages” option. For tools like Google Analytics and the Facebook Pixel you’d want it to be a site wide Tag as you want to track how many users are visiting the site or build a retargeting audience regardless of what page they’ve visited.

When you are setting up Paid Ads and want to track a Lead with the Facebook Events or want to track Google Ads Conversions from a specific landing page, then you’d opt for a specific page to test the “Ad” to “Landing Page” to “Conversion” process and make sure things are working properly. So in this case the Trigger would likely be a “Thank You” page or “Order confirmation” page or even a specific button being clicked on an install.

If I click on your Ad on Facebook for a free Kettlebell Video Training course and look at the page I’ll trigger any code that is covering “All Pages”, if I opt in for the course, then I’ll trigger the Lead Event on the “Thank You” page and within your Facebook Ads dashboard you’ll see there’s now a conversion.

BONUS POINTS:

If you want to get clever you can add a Facebook Event to the landing page called “Page Views” so if I don’t convert and opt in for the course and instead head back to the Facebook news feed , you can now set up a retargeting audience that targets a custom audience of people that triggered the page views and exclude anyone that DID convert. That’s how you get more out of your ad budget and increase conversions – more on this later.

VARIABLES

So the other option that you’ll see within the main dashboard is Variables. This allows you to turn on and turn off certain options as and when you need them. So if you wanted to track the click of a certain button with specific text (like “INSTALL”) then you’d want to go in to Variables and click this option.

Without getting too much more technical if you setup the FB pixel with the custom HTML like I do then you’ll need a specific piece of code and when you add that into the Pixel snippet you’ll need to make one change in the variable. DM me if this is something you want to know more about and I’ll talk you through it otherwise it’s probably overkill here.

All in all, variables are fairly straight forward and you probably won’t need to go in here too much unless your getting really fancy!

This is what you’ll see when you go to install the code on your website.

Why You Should Use It

Okay, I hope that you see the benefit of this but I realise I’ve probably overwhelmed many with too much information. Sorry! But this tool is just so good for anyone taking their marketing and advertising seriously and ignoring Google Tag Manager because it seems like extra work is missing the point.

This tool is a massive time saver and when you work with someone that sets you up with GTM you know you’re working with someone that really cares about you getting a positive return on investment.

Benefits

Here are some of the key benefits as I see it when it comes to Google Tag Manager:

It makes (or keeps) your website and landing pages Lightweight and doesn’t bog your site down with tons of JavaScript code.
It easily allows you to update, rebrand and re-design the website without having to panic and track down all the separate codes you need across your digital marketing and advertising. It’s just a case of adding the GTM snippet into the new site and their should be no interruptions at all.

GTM Safeguards against errors with developers (or more likely non-developers) accidentally deleting code and losing days of data (or worse, weeks) The Google Tag Manager snippet sits in the head and body of the page and is easy to add with a plug-in like Insert Headers and Footers for WordPress.

Safeguards against plugins not being updated or clashing with other plugin updates.
Being a Google tool, it’s easy to share access with others in your team and handover to new team members or stakeholders when people leave or join etc.

I’m probably missing loads of other benefits but they are the ones that come to mind right now. I love it. It’s part of my best practice when getting someone setup across the digital landscape and make sure that they have everything that they need to track conversions, retarget audiences and securely store their important marketing codes.

Note: google Tag Manager is just a container you cannot see the conversion or tracking data within the Tag Manager dashboard.

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